Baked Brie Stuffing
I’m going to cut right to the chase. I never liked stuffing. I’m sorry to whomever I offend, but I just never get excited to eat celery-tasting bread pudding. Ever. My family is very untraditional, and we never do Thanksgiving the “proper” way. Our way: beef wellington, extensive cheese platters, bouillabaisse, duck breast, potatoes au gratin… never the traditional trifecta of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Now, a lot of you asked me for a stuffing recipe, and I thought long and hard about why I would eat stuffing. What would entice me to eat savory bread pudding!? The answer: if there’s a French twist. My last name is Bouchard, so it’s in my nature to want bread and cheese with everything. And lots of butter…. lots and lots of butter.
This thought process of French inspired stuffing is where my baked brie stuffing was born. I want to note that any stuffing that is not prepared in the actual Turkey or Chicken is actually a savory bread pudding. The majority of Americans prepare this as a side dish, completely separate of the poultry, so we are technically making bread puddings. Something also to note: apparently some people call “stuffing,” “dressing” now… which I’m just not on board with. I just wanted to give you a heads up so you don’t throw your plate against the wall when someone tells you they are serving “dressing” at Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, you’re not just getting a side of lemon and olive oil.
Baked Brie Stuffing
- 2 baguettes ripped into pieces and dried at room temp overnight
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 white onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- Diamond kosher salt have on hand for seasoning throughout
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth depending on your preference. Less for a drier stuffing, more for a creamier stuffing
- 3 oz. cream cheese
- 2 eggs beaten together
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8 oz. brie cut into small cubes — can add up to 16 oz (2 standard wheels)
- Whole Cranberry cranberry sauce optional*
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- If you didn't dry the bread overnight, place your pieces of bread onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 250 degrees for about an hour.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt half of the stick of butter. Add the diced onions and celery along with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant.
- Add the rest of the butter, then add the garlic, all of the herbs, salt and pepper. Season with another generous pinch of kosher salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Adjust the heat to low heat and let that butter infuse.
- Place a large sauce pan on another burner on medium high heat. Pour the chicken broth into the sauce pan. Let it heat for 2-3 minutes, just before boiling. Add the cream cheese and whisk until the chicken broth is creamy. Once combined, taste the mixture and add salt if needed. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the broth mixture to the onion/celery mixture and stir together over medium heat, until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat.
- Pour the baguette pieces into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the creamy herb mixture and the eggs and fully coat the bread pieces. You can toss with your hands or tongs (I prefer clean hands to really feel if every piece of bread absorbed the liquid.) NOTE: Once the bread mixture is fully combined, use your judgement! If you think it feels dry for your taste, add some more chicken broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it fits what you are looking for.
- Pour half of the bread mixture into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish, until the bottom is fully coated. Place half of the brie cubes onto the bread. If you like cranberry sauce, add dollops of cranberry sauce as well.
- Add the rest of the bread mixture on top. Top with the remaining brie cubes and more cranberry sauce, if desired. Drizzle one tbsp of melted butter on top for that golden brown perfection. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Adjust the heat to 400 degrees. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes uncovered, until melty and golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!